Rosemary herb is an evergreen shrub with blue flowers. It is a plant of aroma used to add flavour to poultry, lamb and meat dishes and vegetables especially potatoes. It is also great in tea. Apart from the distinctive flavour it adds to food, it has several health benefits. It is said to boost memory, improve mood, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, protect the immune system, stimulate circulation, detoxify the body, protect the body from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions. Some research suggests that it has anti-cancer properties.
Rosemary is also helpful in warding off mosquitoes from your home. In landscaping, it is ideal for a rock garden or the top of a dry wall. You can grow it from seeds or propagate it from an adult plant. It thrives well with little water and lots of light.
To grow rosemary you will need:
Step 1: Get cuttings from a parent plant
Select a strong, healthy-looking rosemary plant to propagate from. The stems should be cut from a plant with recent growth to be sure the plant has not gone dormant and can still grow. Cut a few stems about 2.5 inches, which will then be transplanted after they have taken root.
Step 2: Plant the cuttings
Next you will need a small container with soil. The soil should be a mix of loamy and sandy two parts to one. Adding grit to loam soil helps with drainage. Pluck the lower leaves from the stem cuttings, wet the exposed stem and bury in soil. Mist the leaves with a spray bottle; misting helps keep the plant wet and the soil dry. Do not get the soil soggy. This small container should be kept on a windowsill with at least 8 hours of strong sunlight daily.
Step 3: Transplant the shoots
After 3-4 weeks, your shoots will be ready to be uprooted and transplanted into a permanent container. A clay pot is best; you can get clay pots along Ngong Road. Transfer the shoots into the soil, mist the plant and let it grow.
Step 4: Care for your rosemary
Once they get a bud at the top, snip the bud with a pair of scissors. Water your plant whenever the soil feels dry to touch. Rosemary thrives best with little watering. Rosemary requires a lot of sunlight. Trim your plant after it flowers. Prune your plant regularly to avoid lankiness.
Step 5: Harvest your rosemary
A rosemary plant can grow for years, whenever you need to use some fresh rosemary pluck a few stems from the top. Plucking from the top ensures your plant keeps growing. If you are doing a final harvest of your entire plant, cut off a few stems to propagate your new rosemary bush.
ALSO READ: 8 ways to ward off mosquitoes from your home